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Medieval Indian History
The Sultans of Delhi

Qutubuddin Aibek

  1. Founder of the Sultanate of Delhi, & the first Independent Muslim ruler.
  2. A turk of ‘Aibak’ tribe which means ‘Lord of the moon’.
  3. Founder of the Slave Dynasty.
  4. Died whole playing Chaugan (Polo)
  5. Laid the foundation of Qutab Minar after the name of a Sufi Saint Khawaja Qutubuddin  Bakhtiyar Kaki.
  6. Built tow mospues “Quwan-ul-Islam mosque” at Delhi and “Dhai Din ka Jhonapara” at Amer.

Shamsuddin Iltutmish

  1. Real founder of Delhi Sultanate.
  2. Introducced silver “Tankk’(175 grains) & ‘Jital’ two principal coins.
  3. Completed the construction of Qutab Minar.
  4. Created ‘Turkan-i-Chanhalagani’ a selected body of Trukish nobles.
  5. Coming of Mongols under the leadership of Changiz Khan to the frontiers of India91220 AD)
  6. Indroduced Iqta System in administration.
  7. Declared Rajiya as his heir apparent.

Ghiasuddin Balban

  1. Consolidator of the Sultanate of Delhi.
  2. First Sultan to put forward his views about Kingship according to which the king was the shadow of God title Nvabat-i-khudui and inscribed –zillah on coins .
  3. Created a separate military department (Diwan-i-Ariz) and appointed Kotwal.
  4. Regulated court ceremonial after Persian mode, introduced Sijda ) prostration) Paibok 9 Kissing the monarach’s feet) and celebration of Persian ‘Nauroz’. (New year day)
  5. Destroyed the ‘group of forty’ or chahalgani.
  6. Belonged to the Ilbari tribe.
  7. Adopted the policy of ‘Blood and Iron’ in governance
  8. Claimed himself the descendant of Persian ruler. Afrasiyab.

Alauddin Khalji

  1. Like Balban. He believed that Sultan is Good’s representative on earth and declared himself second Alexander
  2. The only man who could presume to advise the king was Ala-ul-mulk, the kotwal of Delhi.
  3. During his time the army was directly recruited by the army minister (ariz— mamalik). It was paid in cash form the royal treasury. The pay of trooper was 234 tankas a year, while one with and additional horse was paid 78 tankas more, Ala-ud-din instituted the practice of recording the descriptive roll N Chehra (huliya) of individual soldiers and the branding of horses (dagh system).

  4. For regulation and control over markets he instituted now official machinery, Diwan-iriyasat the head of entire market control system Shshna-i-mandi the superintendent of market, and Rais Parwana, the permit officer of markets.

  5. He founded a new clothe market in Delhi know as Sarai-Adal.
  6. Brought the farmers in direct relation with the state and curibed and checked middlemen (Khots, Choudharis, Muqaddams, Patwaris) all were village headmen.
  7. Enhanced the state share of the revenue to one-half of the produce in Gangetic valley.
  8. Created a new department of revenue (Diwani- Mustakharaj) to realize arrears.
  9. Appropriated 4/5 share of Khams (war booty0 leaving only 1/5 to the army.
  10. Resumption of several types of land grants viz. Inam, Waqf, Milk
  11. Introduced house tax and pasture tax, ghari/ charai respectively.
  12. Initiated the policy of conquest and expanision of the sultanate (Khalji Imperialism) malik Kafur vonlerbase Southern expeditions
  13. Built ‘Alai Darwaja’, ‘Siri fort’ Mahal-i-Hazar Situn’, “Zamait-e-khana mosque.”

Ghiyas-Ud-Din Tuglaq Shah

  1. He laid the foundation of a big palace fort know as Tughalaqabad
  2. He was on bad terms with the famous sufi saint Nizamuddin Auliya.
  3. The statement Hunz Dilli dur ast (Delhi is yet far off) was made by the saint for the Sultan when he was returning from Bengal to punish the saint.
  4. Took Keen inherent in the construction of irrigation.

Mohamma Bin Tughlaq

  1. Formulated ‘famine-code’ to provide relief to famine-affected people.
  2. Well-versed in various braches of learning viz,. astronomy, mathematics, medicine etc.
  3. Created the department of agriculture (Diwani- Amirkohi)
  4. Is known as “Misture of opposites” or a mad king”.
  5. Enhanced revenue or doab to one half of the produce.
  6. Shifted capital from Delhi to Devagiri (rename, Daulatabad) in 1326-27.
  7. Introduced token currency of copper and brass(1329-30)
  8. Known as a ‘prince of moneyers’.
  9. First sultan to advance loans known as sondhar to peasants for digging wells to extend cultivation.
  10. Muhammad had cordial relations with some of the Asian countries, particularly China. The Chinese emperor, Toghan Timur sent as envoy to Delhi in 1341 seeking Muhammad’s permission to rebuild Buddhist temples in the Himalayan region. These Himalayan temples wee demolished by Muhammad’s soldiers during his Qarajal expedition. The Sultan sent Ibn Battuta as envoy to the court of the Mongol emperor of China. Ibn Batuta started in July 1342, and returned in 1347.

  11. Created a heterogenous nobility-incorporated land-owing class, artisan class into nobility.
  12. The Wizarat winessed its heyday during his reign.
  13. His wazir was khwaja-Jahan.
  14. Faced many rebellions ding his region. Almost entire South India became independent during his region.

Firoz Shah Tughlaq

  1. Was a cousin of Mohammed Bin Tughlaq and was offered the crown by the nobles.
  2. Made ‘Iqta system’ hereditary.
  3. Founded several cities like Firozabad, Fatehabad, Hissar, Jaunpur, Firozpur etc.
  4. Wrote the autobiography “Futuhat-i-Firogshahi”
  5. Diwan-i-khairat was the special creation of Firoz for helping the poor Muslim parents in the marriage of their daughter. It was in charge of Sayyid Amir Miran.
  6. The department Diwan-I-Bandgan was also a new creation of Firuz which administered the affairs of the slaves. Raised a huge force of slaves numbering 180000.
  7. He made systematic assessment of land. Entrusted this task to Kwaja Hisommuddin who assessed the land revenue which amounted to6 corer and 85 lakh of tankas.
  8. Besides improving the quality of cultivation, a large number of gardens were laid out by the Sultan, 1200 gardens were laid out in the neighborhood of Delhi.
  9. The most remarkable contribution of Firoz that gave a fillip to agriculture was the scheme of artificial irrigation in which the excavation of canals occupied an important place. The important canals which were excavated were the following ; a. The Rajiwah., b. Ulughkhani, e. Firuzabad canal, d. Khakkhar (Ghaggar0 canal, e. The canal excavated from the river Budhi.

  10. Firuz Shah imposed Jizya upon the brahnanas made Jaziyah a separate tax.
  11. Imposed an additional tax at the rate 1/10 of the total production of such cultivators as were benefited by the new scheme irrigation known as Haqi-i-Shirb.
  12. The Sultan also opened a large number of hospitals Darul Shafa where medicines used to be distributed free to the people. Experienced physicians, surgeons, eye specialists used to be appointed who attended the patients with great care. The expenses of these hospitals were borne by the State.
  13. The upper storeys of the Qutub Minar which were struck by lightening in 700 A.H/1368 AD. wee repaired by Firoz these repaired were confined to the fourth and fifth storeys.
  14. He built Kushk Firoz and Kotla firoz Shah-It was a palce fortress Situated on the bank of the river Jamuna. Another interesting object in the Kotla of firuz Shah was the Ashokan pillar. 9brought from Merrut and Topana)
  15. Created an Endowment Fund.
  16. Established an Employment Bureau to provide work to unemployed.
  17. Started practice of granting old-age pension. (Diwan+ ……)
  18. Started charitable Kitchen
  19. Abdicated the thrown in fabour of Muhammad Khan

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Sikandar Bahlul Lodi Ibrahim

Introduced a new gaz known as gaz-i-Sikandari of 32 digit.

He was fond of literature and poetry and wrote verses in Persian under the name of Ghirlakhi.

The main achievement of the Sultan was the conquest and annexation of Bihar.

Founder of Agra city in 1506 and made it his capital.

Main Departments of the Sultanate


The head of the department was wazir who exercised general supervision over all departments & in particular the department was associated with the finance.

Diwan –I-Arz

  • The head of the department was Ariz-imumalik
  • This was the military department.
  • Overall commander of the army was the Sultan.

Diwan –I – Insha

  • The head of the department was Dabir-imumalik
  • Looked after state correspondence
  • Associated with issuing of farnans.

Diwan-I- Risalat

  • The head of the department was Sasr-us-Sudur

State Functionaries

Amil Revenue officer
Arz-i-Mamalik Minister in-charge of the army of the whole country.
Barid Ness reporter/Intelligence agents
Chihalgani A select body of Turkish nobility originally slaves of Iltumish which came into existence during the period of Iltumish to be destroyed by balban later
Iqtadar Governor, a person in whose charge an Iqta has been placed.
Khwaja Keeping accounts and sending information to sultan, the office was created by by Balban
Kotwal Head of city administration. He maintained law and order, enforced economic regulations, correct use of weight and measures and kept vigil on the visitors.
Muftis Expounder of law
Muhatasib An officer appointed to maintain law and order in a municipality
Muqti/Wali Provincial governor/ holder of Iqta
Shiqdar Head Shiqs (equivalent to districts)

Terms associated with economy

Fawazil Excess amount of surplus of revenue appropriated fromIqta after detraying salary (of the Iqta holder) and meeting expenditure of troops. This amount was to be deposited with the state exchequer. However this trend ceased to exits from the time of Firz Shah Tughlaq.
Abwabs Various imposts like ghari, charai etc.
Ushr A land tax, charged on the land held by a Muslim and wantered by natural means. Usually, It was one-tenth of the produce. These lands were know Ushri.
Khams/ Booty captured in war. According to Islamic tradition one-fifth of the amount went to the state and four-fifths were distributed among the army.
Zakat A religious tax, paid by Muslims as a charity for the welfare of their co-religionists. It was charged at the rate 2.5 percent of the actual income or property.
Jizya A tax levied on non-muslims in their capacity as protected subjected. Brahmins, women, children, hermit’s beggars, lunatics, and slaves were exempted.
Ghari House tax
Charaj Cattle tax levied on grazing.
Kharaj Land revenue, realized form non-muslims, such lands were known as Kharaji. Also known as Kharaj-I-Jiziya or mal.
Masahat Measurement of land
Biswa A common measure of area in northern India, equivalent to 1/20 of a bigha.
Khalisha The area whose revenue was reserved for the Sultan’s treasury. It was not given in Iqtas. Sultan’s officials, amils collected taxes directly for the royal treasury.
Sondhar Loan given to the peasants.

Architecture of the sultanate period

  1. The first architectural construction erected by Qutd-ud-din Aibak was the well-known Quwantul- Islammosque at Delhi, It was built on the plinth of a Hindu temple.
  2. The next Turkish building erected at Ajmer is also a mosque. It is known as Dhai Din ka Jhopra. This too was built by Qutub-ud-din Aibek. The building was originally a Sanksrit college and temple built by the great Chauhan emperor Vigrahraja Visaldeva.

  3. The third important example Turkish architecture is the Qutub Minar.
  4. Iltumish, besides completing the Qutub Minar, added some buildings of his own , most prominent was a tomb, know as Sultan Garhi.
  5. Balban built his palace, known as the Red Palace. His tomb in Delhi is Purely Persian in execution.
  6. The Khalji monarch Ala-ud-din was a great builder and erected many buildings. Two of his buildings are notable. They are a mosque called Jamaite Khana Masjid at the shrine of Nizamud- din auliya and the famous Darwaza at the QutubMinar. Both these show a preponderance of Muslim architectural ideas. He also built Siri Fort Hazar Sutun.
  7. The buildings of the Taghlaq period do not possess that splendour. Their buildings are characterized by stopping walls use of greystone and heavy and dark appearance.
  8. The best of the Pathan buildings is the Moth kiMasjid bult by the prime minister of Sikandar Lid.

Sultanate Architecture

1. Kutubuddin Aibak
  • Kuwwatul-Islam Delhi
  • Dhai Din Ka Jhopara
  • Kutbminar-Ajmer Delhi
2. Aldddin Khalji
  • Siri Fort
  • Mahal- Hazari-I Sitoon
  • Alai -Darwaza
  • Alai Minar
3. Gayasuddin
  • Tuglaqabad (Fort city)
4. Md.Tuglaq
  • Jahan- Panah (Fort city)
  • Sat Pullia
5. Firoz Shah
  • Firoz Shah Kotla
  • Jamima Masjid
  • Kusak-i- Sikar
  • Recinstructed Hauz-I –Khas and Katbminar
6. Sikander Lodi
  • Founded Agra
7. Shar Shah
  • Old Fort
  • Qila-i- Kuhng
  • Sher Shah’s Torib-Sara ram

Delhi and its different names through times

  1. Allaudin Khalji constructed Siri Fort in 1303 AD.
  2. Ghaisuddin Tughlaq built Tughlaqabad in 1321.
  3. Md. Bin Tughlaq constructed Adilabad.
  4. Md . Bin Tughlaq founded other city knows as jahanpanah.
  5. Firoz Shah Tughlaq built Firozabad in 1354
  6. Humayun constructed Dinpanah in 1533
  7. Shershah built Purana Quilla at the site of Jahanpanah
  8. Shahjanah founded Shajhanabad in 1684.

Amir Khusro

  1. His real name was Abdul Hasan.
  2. He created a new literary style in Persian which came to be known as Sabaq -I- Hindi
  3. He composed verses in Hindi as well and paved the way for the development of Urdu
  4. He lived through the reigns of six sultans - patronised by Jalaluddin Khalji Alauddin Khalji and Ghiyasuddin Tughlaq.
  5. He was a disciple of Nizamuddin Auliya the famous Sufi saint of Chisti order.
  6. He introduced numerous perso- arabic ragas – aiman sanam ghura etc.
  7. His five Literary Masterpieces- Dedicated to Alauddin Khalji , Matula-Ui-Anwar Shirin Khasrau , Laila Majnuri Ayina –i- Sikandri, Hasht Bihist
  8. His five Diwans ( Collection of Ghazals) Tuhafat –Us-Sighar, Wast –UI- Hyat Ghurrat-UIKamal, Baqiya Naqiya , Nihayat –UI- Kamal.
  9. His Historical Masnavis ( Narrative Poems).
  • Tughlaq Nama             Ghiyasuddin Tughlaq’s rise to power .
  • Nuh Siphr                    Quttubudin Aibak reign and religious a social condition
  • Qiran –Us- Sadin         Quarrel and reconciliation between Sultan Kadalqabad and hais father Bughra Khan
  • Miftah –UI-Furuh         Military success of sultan Jalaluddin Khalji
  • Aashiqa or Dewal         Romantic love between Khizr Khan, eldest son of Allaudin
  • Rani Khizr Khani          Khalji and Dewal Rani daughter of Raj Karan of Gujarat
  • Khazain –UI- Futuh     A historigraphical composition in prose which describes conquests and other achievements of Allaudin Khalji

Development of Urdu

  1. The word Urdu is a Turkish origin and literal meaning of the word is army or camp
  2. The noted poet Amir Khusro called it Hindavi. He composed verses in Hindavi using Persian script.
  3. Urdu was known by various names Hindavi, Dakhini, Rekhata , Hindustani.

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